Posted June 23, 2011
If you're anything like the average blogger, you want more people to read your posts.
Most people write and write and write, only to go completely unnoticed.
So is there a secret? Is there something you can do to give your posts a better chance of getting noticed online?
The answer is yes, and here it is:
The number one secret to getting your blog posts noticed is to write better headlines.
The reason is that headlines are what people read first, and it's also what they read to decide whether or not to keep reading. It's as simple as that.
Consider a major news website like Yahoo News as an example. What's the first thing that you do when you land on the page? What do you do after that?
The first thing you do is look at the picture on the page; second, you begin scanning the headlines.
After the picture, the item that grabs attention the most is the largest headline. If it's not interesting, you continue searching the other the headlines to see if there's anything else you want to read.
So after the picture, the second most important part of a website like Yahoo News is the headlines.
This is true for print newspapers and magazines, and it's also true for blog posts.
When people are trying to decide what to read, they scan headlines first. That's how they decide what to read and what not to read.
So if you want people to read what you've written, your headline needs to compel them to click and continue reading.
David Ogilvy, an offline copywriting master, said it best when he said this: “On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar.”
The point is this: even though the headline is one of the shortest pieces of an advertisement or article, the headline is more important than anything else. On average, eight out of ten people read the headline; only two out of ten keep reading.
So how do you get those two people to keep reading? Or maybe a third person? The secret is to write better headlines.
This is even more true in the Twittersphere that we live in today. One of the best ways for people to find your content is for it to be shared on Twitter. Once it's tweeted, what do people see? The first thing they see is the headline, and, until they click, they won't see anything else.
If people are going to click to read your content, the headline has to be good. It has to be compelling.
So how do you write more compelling headlines?
One way is to study the types of headlines that have been proven to work. To do this, pay attention to the headlines that magazines and newspapers use. If a certain type of headline is used again and again, there's a reason. It's because it works.
The second way is to study headline writing to learn why certain headlines work better than others and how to write more compelling headlines. Most people don't realize this, but you can learn how to write more compelling headlines that will increase the chance of getting your blog posts noticed.
You can also use the formulas in the wrong way and make people made. Not only do you need to know good headline writing techniques, but you also need to know why they work and how to use them.
Once you do, you'll know how to write better headlines that will get your blog posts noticed.
Are you ready for that to happen?
This post is the fifth in a series of ten posts on the best way to start a blog and tips on how to write better headlines.